Sunday, February 11, 2024

Christ between antlers, Chameleon Baptism, and a liquid clock in an alligator's stomach

My last two posts have featured syncs with a cross or crucifix between the antlers of a stag. Today, on one of my truly-random rambles through Taichung, I found this on a the door of a closed restaurant. (It's Chinese New Year; everything is closed.)

It's a pretty odd thing to find in February in a non-Christian country. It appears to be permanently attached to the door, not a seasonal decoration. But the important thing, sync-wise, is that right at the top we have Christ -- as part of the word Christmas -- located between the antlers of a stag. Exactly centered between the antlers is Ch -- a transliteration of the Greek X, the cross. Notice also that each of the two circles around the stag is broken into eight segments, suggesting the eight-spoked Wheel of Fortune.

Chameleons have been in the sync stream. Today I read a bit in Shadowland by Colin Wilson and also started reading Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. Shadowland is the sixth installment in the Spider World series, which deals mainly with human beings and giant spiders. In the bit I read today, a new intelligent species is introduced: color-changing "chameleon men." I didn't see that coming. Then later I started reading Swamplandia!, about a family that runs an alligator theme park in Florida, and found this:

According to Bigtree legend, it was that same day that Grandma Risa got her first-ever glimpse of a Florida alligator . . . . That monster's surge, said our grandfather, sent up a tidal wave of black water that soaked Grandma Risa's dress. The prim china-dots on her skirt got erased in one instant, what we called in our museum Risa's Chameleon Baptism (p. 31).

I don't really get why they called it that. Because the dots being erased from her skirt is sort of like changing color? The meaning of "Chameleon Baptism" is not explained, and so far (I'm on page 52) it hasn't been referenced again. In Shadowland, the main character meets the chameleon men after they pull his unconscious body from a river, he having just gone over a waterfall. In William Wright's January 24 post, "'Get to the choppa!': A skin-removing Chameleon hunting Arnold Schwarzenegger," which started this whole chameleon theme, he writes that in the movie Predator, "Arnold even gets a 'baptism' after his run away from the Chameleon." By "baptism," he means jumping into a river and going over a waterfall, much like Niall in Shadowland; and the "Chameleon" is of course the nearly invisible humanoid Predator, much like Niall's "chameleon men."

In my own syncs, the red chameleon has been particularly important, as has its long red protruding tongue, which has also been seen on a Pokémon and a female vampire:

When I checked in with The Most Censored Publication in History today, I was greeted by this image:

An AI-generated image of Lady Liberty with vampire fangs and an extremely long protruding red tongue -- what more natural way to illustrate a story about Zuck censoring the supreme leader of Iran?

Later, since I'm finding Swamplandia! quite a good read so far, I googled the author, Karen Russell. This is what came up:

Look at the books that are highlighted: First, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, which I already knew about. (It's why I bought Swamplandia!, as documented here.) Second, an edition of Swamplandia! with a red alligator on the cover -- which is even more unusual than a red chameleon! It's an unusually short-snouted gator, too, looking more like a lizard, and even looks as if it has a chameleon-like crest at the back of its head. (My own copy is a different edition, with a regular alligator-colored alligator. If you do an image search for swamplandia, the seventh result is the first one with a red gator. Still, that's the one Google chose to highlight.) And right next to this thing that looks an awful lot like a red chameleon, the word VAMPIRES. And is it just me, or does that leaf make the lemon look like a hand grenade?

Here's something else I read in Swamplandia! today which confused me:

I dusted our Seth clock, a gruesome and fantastic timepiece the Chief had made: just an ordinary dishlike kitchen clock set inside a real alligator's pale stomach. The clock hung from a hook next to the blackboard menu in our Swamp Café (p. 32).

Wait, the clock is inside an alligator's stomach? Then how can anyone see it to check the time? My best guess at the author's intended meaning, taking both inside and stomach rather loosely, is that there was some skin taken from a gator's underbelly, with the clock mounted in the center. But my literal interpretation on the first read, together with the word hook in the following sentence, made me think of Hook's nemesis in Peter Pan, a crocodile that made a ticking sound because it had swallowed a clock. In the Disney movies, the crocodile's name is actually Tick-Tock.

Then, on the same truly-random ramble that led me to another Christ-between-antlers, I found this:

Okay, what exactly is that on the left? I mean, it's obviously meant to suggest a clock (with no hands), but what about the other features? What's that thing on top, that gives it the shape of a cartoon bomb? Is it supposed to be a stopwatch? But why does it look like it has some black liquid in it? Is it a bottle, and that thing at the top is the cap? But I've never seen drink sold in a bottle like that. It looks more like a perfume bottle or something. . . .

Then I remembered something else I had read in Swamplandia! today. After the death of the narrator's mother, no one in the family is doing laundry:

I don't know what [my brother] was doing for clean clothing during that period; for months my sister and I had been spraying out undershirts and shorts with Mom's perfume. . . . two pumps, per sister, per day. We were using Mom up, I worried, and for some reason that fear made me want to spray on more and more. The perfume worked like a liquid clock for us: half a bottle drained to a quarter, that was winter.

Just logging syncs. We'll see if they lead anywhere.

1 comment:

WanderingGondola said...

The curve of that "Tick Tock" sign's liquid is reminiscent of the yin-yang symbol. Too much yang?

One of my post-sleep songs on Sunday was Muse's "The Groove"; its second verse happens to include chameleon. The song was a B-side for "Time is Running Out", and the Muse fan wiki says it's also an early version of "Supermassive Black Hole".

That red chameleon pic and the Platonic solid images from last week remind me of a sync from around the time of the gold and silver keys last year. I'd watched Tron for the first time a week before WW posted about it, and I saw its sequel, Tron Legacy, a week or two afterwards. A few scenes include two geometric objects, one gold and one silver -- a customised version of a puzzle toy called the Yoshimoto Cube.

Above Majestic (with an excursus on turban jokes)

Last Halloween, I posted " Francis Bacon, papal keys, triple tiara, Denver Airport ," which included a meme referencing that airpo...